Loop 2 route description
Length: 58.10 km
Elevation change: 3392 m +/-
Surface types: trail, gravel path, asphalt
Highlights: Bad Gastein waterfall / Reedsee lake / Zittrauertisch (Zittrau Table)
After the start, you follow the fastest path through Bad Hofgastein’s spa park onto the Achenpromenade (flat gravel path). As with the Prologue, you follow this until it goes uphill up to the waterfall (1st aid station, drinks only). This time, you turn right here over a small bridge, and steps lead you into the village centre of Bad Gastein. Here, the route includes a brief asphalt section (8 km). Then you go down the beautiful Kaiser Wilhelm Promenade into the Kötschach valley and past the Himmelwand hut (2nd aid station, full service) up to the Reedsee lake junction (13.5 km). Once you have completed the 5 km from Bad Gastein to this point, thus gaining around 202 m of elevation, you embark on a vigorous, technically demanding uphill run of 3 km to the highlight of this loop, the Reedsee lake, with 700 m of elevation also needing to be overcome. After that, you continue uphill to the Palfnerscharte at 2321 m above sea level (18.4 km), and then follow perfect trails around the Graukogel to the mountain station of the Graukogel lift (3rd aid station, full service). Then you follow trails and forest roads back into the valley. Now you have completed approx. half of the route in terms of both distance and elevation. Via the Böckstein ridgeway (gravel/trail), you reach Böckstein at 30 km. This is the location of the 4th full-service aid station. From there, you continue along the old path to Sportgastein, passing numerous waterfalls, and reach Sportgastein, where you reach the 5th full-service aid station at 36.5 km. You should pass this point before 7.00 pm, or you will fail to meet the cut-off time.
Whereas the route from Böckstein only rises in a moderate ascent up to this point, you now embark on the next uphill section, passing the Bockhartsee lake and via the Miesbichlscharte up to the highest point, the Zitterauer Tisch (Zittrau Table), at 2463 m.
You then continue past the Stubnerkogel mountain station (6th aid station, full service) via trails, meadows and forest roads, a fast-paced downhill into the Anger valley (50 km), and to the 7th and final aid station (full service). In terms of elevation, you are now just 100 m uphill away from the Vogellehrpfad (Bird Nature Trail), via which you can “fly” down to the finish in Bad Hofgastein.